Q&A: EID’s explains smart irrigation rebate

By From page B1 | January 07, 2013

I understand that EID offers a “smart” rebate program. Can you tell me about this program?

EID offers what are called smart irrigation rebates for the upgrade of older irrigation technology to new “smarter” technology, including irrigation controllers that sense weather conditions to estimate water needs, and low-precipitation irrigation nozzles that apply water in an efficient manner to reduce runoff and evaporation. These newer devices, along with water efficient drip irrigation systems, can use less water while still maintaining a beautiful landscape.

What is covered by the program?

Rebates are available for the upgrade or retrofit of existing irrigation systems only, so new installations are not eligible. If you have a standard irrigation controller (also called a timer or clock)— where you currently enter the number of days per week or how many minutes to water — a rebate is available to upgrade it to a smart irrigation controller that is programmed to water with the weather. Retrofitting existing fixed spray heads (also called pop-ups) with new high-efficiency nozzles or converting a system to drip irrigation are also eligible for a rebate. The new nozzles can even be retrofitted into most standard spray bodies.

How will I know what to upgrade?

EID offers complimentary landscape water surveys to answer this question and to help you be more water efficient. The survey is performed by Bill Cassady, our certified landscape irrigation auditor. Bill will review and discuss with you possible water efficiency improvements for your existing irrigation system.

Where do I apply for a landscape survey?

Simply fill out a water survey request form that’s available on our website or in our headquarters lobby, or give us a call and we’ll mail one to you. After your request has been submitted, you will receive a call to schedule a time for Bill to meet you at the site. The survey itself usually takes less than an hour to complete.

How much is the rebate?

The total possible rebate per eligible water meter — one that has at least 12 months of recorded potable or recycled water usage — is $850, but there are different maximum amounts for portions of the program. A rebate of up to $400 is available for a weather-based irrigation controller; and up to $450 is available for materials such as new water efficient nozzles or drip irrigation. You also have the option of using up to $150 out of the $450 portion (leaving $300 for materials) for the labor of a licensed landscape contractor. All approved rebates are posted as a credit on your billing statement.

How do I get the rebate?

After your landscape survey is conducted, you will receive a rebate request form by mail that will list the water efficiency improvements eligible for a rebate. If you wish to proceed and implement the recommendations, you can either make the purchases and do the installation yourself or hire a licensed landscape contractor to provide the materials and do the installation. Once your project has been completed, fill out the rebate request form you received after your landscape survey, sign/date at the bottom, and mail it to us with copies of your receipts or contractors invoice.

What is the time frame to participate in this program?

Rebates will be available on a first-come, first-served basis due to limited funding. Submit your survey request as soon as possible, but no later than May 1, 2013, to allow time to schedule your landscape survey and complete the water efficiency improvements. To be eligible for a rebate, return your request form prior to June 1, 2013. Bill will need to revisit your site to verify the new installations, but once this step has been completed, your rebate will be posted as a credit on your next billing statement. After the program ends, we will still continue to offer complimentary landscape surveys to our customers.

Who should I contact for more information?

You may call our water efficiency staff at 530-642-4126 or send an email to [email protected] You can also visit our Website at and select “I Want To… learn more about EID’s water efficiency programs” from the main menu. Next, select “Landscape” to review the complete terms and conditions of the program or to download a survey request form.

Mary Lynn Carlton

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